The Real Reason We Should Be Overflowing With Thankfulness

I invite you to stop what you are doing. Take a step back from your activity. Take a deep breath and think about all that you have to be thankful for. I don’t even have to mention the usual list of health, family, and a roof over your head. What I want you to be thankful for is simply the great presence, power, and promises found in life with Christ.

Do you remember that not even death can separate you from the love of God? That the life we live as Christians inside the Kingdom of God is a life full of love, now and forever. That love is not contingent on our ability to maintain some level of goodness.

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Do you remember that you are valuable and precious? As Eugene Peterson said, “we are splendid, never-to-be-duplicated stories of grace.” Christ dwells in you and delights in you and sacrificed everything to be made alive in you.

Do you remember that you are a new creation? That your life from this point on is capable of transformation and deep change. So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”

See all that we have to be thankful for? Thank God for our health and our provisions but more than that, thank God for his great love and his work in our lives. Without which, we would be aimless, tossed about by our own desires, and ever on the edge of despair and loneliness.

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23 Things – Week 9: Sabbath

Week 9: Sabbath

20. Read this interview with Pastor and author of The Message, Eugene Peterson.

21. Sabbath accomplishes many things but the most beneficial is what it teaches us about time. See below:

1. Cultivates trust in God – Dallas Willard elaborates on this point, “When we come to the place where we can joyously “do no work” (Leviticus 23:3), it will be because God is so exalted in our mind and body that we trust him with our life and our world, and we can take our hands off them.”

2. Reshapes our week – So much of our time is shaped by our responsibilities at work and at home while other parts of our time are shaped by the technologies that we are so attached to. By receiving the Sabbath and its time of rest and worship our entire week can be shaped in a sacred direction rather than a worldly direction. We still have our responsibilities but these duties no longer carry the weight that we had previously assigned to them.

3. Eliminates Hurry – Even if the Sabbath is the only day of the week that we intentionally attempt to rest and not extend ourselves we learn to appreciate what an existence might be like minus hurry and urgency. We can learn that the world can carry on just fine without our input and activity. One hurry free day demonstrates to us that a hurry free existence is possible.

22. Read these guidelines for practicing the Sabbath:

1. Sabbath can be practiced on any day of the week. Sunday is a natural choice because it is the day that we commonly worship and despite recent developments in our culture, it is often a day that includes the fewest responsibilities. If Sunday does not work for you, choose any day that provides you with the most freedom.

2. Start small. Remember that we are not subscribed to the philosophy of more. Try spending two hours after Sunday lunch in quiet reflection, in rest, or recreation. As God enables you over time, try to extend the Sabbath to the entire day.

3. Include your family. Spend your Sabbath with family playing games, cooking meals at home, or outdoor activities.

4. Protect The Sabbath. The first thing that will happen when you decide to receive the Sabbath is that something will occur forcing you to make a choice between your commitment to Sabbath keeping and something else. Though we want to avoid turning this practice into a legalism, we do want to demonstrate conviction regarding the Sabbath. For example, I attempt to complete Weekend errands, housework, and yard work on Saturday in order to free up Sundays for Sabbath keeping.

23. Using the comments, summarize your thoughts on 23 Things.

This is week nine of 23 Things. See previous posts here and here for the first 17 things and an introduction to 23 Things. If you want to be eligible to win a free book, post a comment under each week’s session. Those who complete all 23 Things will be placed in a drawing for a free book.

Good Words

Article: Eugene Peterson – the Joyful Environmentalist

oxforddictionary.com

Study: Internet addiction can cause brain damage.

Blog:  Soulgardeners – a beautiful looking blog about spiritual formation and missions.

Travel Destination:  Thorncrown Chapel

Quote: “If you think of reading as a means of uploading data, then reading will ALWAYS seem too slow.” ALan Jacobs


Good Words

Scot McKnight has developed a map of spiritual development

oxforddictionary.com

 

New Book: Bob and Joel Kilpatrick  discuss The Art of Being You

Study: TV exposure causes much higher rates of eating disorders

Dallas Willard goes in depth on the VIM pattern of change

“The personal dimension of the gospel is good news about ourselves. The reality of what is within us is every bit as important as the news from the political, industrial, and scientific centers of the world. Even if world peace were an accomplished fact and the domestic economy stabilized to everyone’s satisfaction, we still must deal with ourselves.” – Eugene Peterson, Traveling Light